2016 Reorganization Meeting and New Executive Board

The PCDO held its annual reorganizaton meeting on Sunday evening, January 31st. The potluck dinner provided more than enough food and drink, and the conversation was -- as usual -- informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking. In addition to familiar faces and some new ones, a wide range of elected officials mixed with the crowd. Among the attendees were Assembly members Liz Muoio (who is also the Mercer County Democratic Chair) and Andrew Zwicker; County Executive Brian Hughes; Sheriff Jack Kemler; County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello; Surrogate Diane Gerofsky; Freeholder Andrew Koontz; and Princeton's own elected officials: Mayor Liz Lempert; Council members Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, and Bernie Miller.

potluck dinner


A full slate of officers and at-large members was welcomed onto the Executive Board for the coming year. The new officers are:

President - Owen O'Donnell

1st Vice President - Amner Deleon

2nd Vice President - Dwaine Williamson

Treasurer - David Cohen

Assistant Treasurer - Maureen Quap

Recording Secretary - Peter Lindenfeld

Corresponding Secretary - Joanna Dougherty


The twelve at-large members are:

Jose Alcantara

Kathleen Cassidy

Kip Cherry

Mary Clurman

Liz Cohen

Jim Floyd

Mark Freda

Craig Garcia

Paul Gilmore

Anne Neumann

Sheldon Sturges

Russell Weiss-Irwin


This year's Board is rounded out by the following elected officials and Democratic Party leaders living in the community:

Doreen Blanc-Rockstram - 1st Vice Chair, Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee

Jo Butler - Princeton Council

Jenny Crumiller - Princeton Council

Jon Durbin - PCDO Immediate Past President

Heather Howard - Princeton Council

Brian Hughes - Mercer County Executive

Andrew Koontz - Mercer County Freeholder

Liz Lempert - Princeton Mayor

Lance Liverman - Princeton Council

Scotia MacRae - 2nd Vice Chair, Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee

Bernie Miller - Princeton Council

Patrick Simon - Princeton Council

Peter Wolanin - Chair, Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee


Before the election of the new Board, outgoing President Jon Durbin highlighted some of the accomplishments of his tenure, including the continued strength of the Democratic Party in Princeton and Mercer County as well as our success in adding a shade of blue to the 16th Legislative District with the election of Andrew Zwicker to the Assembly. Jon also thanked longtime Executive Board member Dan Preston for his service to the organization and his ever-continuing support of the Democratic Party and democratic principles. In closing, Jon stressed the importance of the upcoming election cycle and the vital need to make sure a Democrat is elected to the White House in November.


In his remarks, Owen thanked the members, the outgoing and incoming Boards, and pledged to continue the high standards the PCDO has maintained over many years. He also noted the upcoming elections and pointed out that having a contested race for Council is a positive sign that democracy is alive and well in our community.


Jon and OwenDwaine, Owen, and Amner


Finally, three resolutions were presented to the membership for vote, with all passing:

  • Supporting the Formation of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District
  • Urging Implementation of Verified Voting for Mercer County
  • In Support of $15/Hour New Jersey Minimum Wage and the Right of Workers to Organize

Note: Jenny Crumiller pointed out that a quorum of the Princeton Council was present for the reading of the resolutions and, since two of the items will be presented to Council, the Council members would abstain from the vote.


Next Meeting: Endorsement Night for Non-Princeton Races, including Freeholder, County Surrogate, US House of Representatives, and President of the United States.

Special Guest: Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

Sunday, February 21st. Doors open at 7:00 PM, meeting starts at 7:30 PM

Suzanne Patterson Senior Resource Center



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Andrew Zwicker Ahead in LD-16 Counts


Despite preliminary numbers that pointed to a narrow loss on election night, by morning on November 5th, the race was moved to the "too close to call" category with Andrew Zwicker in the lead by 29 votes over Donna Simon in the unoffical counts from all the counties.

In new news since then, as the approximately 50 - 60 provisional ballots in each county are being counted, Zwicker's lead has increased:

  • Hunterdon County:  Zwicker +10 after provisional ballots counted on Nov. 4th.
  • Mercer County: Zwicker +28 after provisional ballots counted on Nov. 5th.
  • Somerset County: Zwicker -7 after provisional ballots counted on Nov. 6th.
  • Middlesex County: Zwicker +17 after provisional ballots counted on No.v 9th.

As of Nov. 11th. Andrew Zwicker is beating Donna Simon by 78 votes, and will likely be declared the winner.

TAPInto has a good overall summary of the process.


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Zwicker/Vella for Assembly, Day of Action

Sep 26 2015

Join other community members in walking Princeton to Get Out The Vote for the Democratic candidates for the New Jersey Assembly, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come to the Princeton Campaign Office, 301 N. Harrison Street, 2nd floor (entrance to the right of McCaffrey's), past the ballet studio and dentist, for materials and instructions.


Volunteer in This Year's Hottest State Assembly Race

Are you tired of being represented by Republicans in the state Assembly? Since 2011, when the state’s voting districts were redrawn, that's been Princeton's sad situation. Our current Assembly representatives are both on Chris Christie's Presidential Leadership Team and have voted in lock-step to support his regressive policies.

Princeton is now in state Legislative District 16 (LD-16), which includes portions of the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset and the municipalities of Branchburg, Delaware, Flemington, Hillsborough, Manville, Millstone (Somerset), Montgomery, Princeton, Raritan (Hunterdon), Readington, Rocky Hill, Somerville, South Brunswick, and Stockton.

The Zwicker/Vella campaign is working hard to win both LD-16 Assembly seats for two progressive Democrats who will stand up to Chris Christie.  This is one of the very few races in the state this year where Democrats can win seats. But we can't do it without your help.  The turnout on November 3 is expected to be very low, so we must reach Democratic voters before then.

There are several easy ways you can start helping right now at the campaign office at the Princeton Shopping Center (the office is on the 2nd floor next to McCaffrey's, past the ballet studio at the end of the hall).

  1. Sit in the office a couple hours regularly during the day as a receptionist. This would free up the campaign staff to get out in the district while keeping the office open. 
  2. Show up any Thursday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm to make voter turnout calls.  Bring a laptop and cell phone if possible.
  3. Write a letter to the editor - contact Jenny Crumiller at jenny@crumiller.com for suggested talking points and media contacts.
  4. Walk door-to-door on weekends to get out the vote among Democrats. Face-to-face contact is key to motivating people. To get started, contact Seth Levin at 410-627-9504 or seth@zwickervella.com or drop into the office to get started.

Make a difference! Help elect Andrew Zwicker and Maureen Vella to the New Jersey Assembly!

Special Panel: “Getting Beyond Racism”

Sep 20 2015 7:00 pm

PCDO General Membership Meeting
Sunday, Sept. 20th, 7pm, in the Suzanne Patterson Senior Center, located behind Monument Hall (Old Borough Hall). 

The concept behind the panel is to initiate dialogue and communication in our town on what has been a difficult topic in the past. We also want to honor the "Black Lives Matter" movement and the tragic events that have led to it. The emphasis in questions given to the panel will be on those that impact the Princeton community and what can be done to find solutions that move the community forward as a whole. 

The panel members will be responding to questions from the moderator, with a question & answer period open to the public at the end. Panelists include:

  1. Rhinold Lamar Ponder, a graduate of Princeton University, is an artist and attorney who runs a Facebook page, “Beyond Black and White,” which has more than 500 members. 
  2. Carlton Branscomb, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Princeton, and Board Member for the Coalition for Peace Action/Cease Fire NJ. 
  3. Shirley Satterfield, Former School Guidance Counselor, Historian & Member of Witherspoon Presbyterian Church. 
  4. Associate Dean Deborah Blanks, Princeton University Chapel, Dept. of Religious Life (Retired). 
  5. Calvin Reed, Staffer to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, who attended Princeton schools. 
  6. Leticia Fraga is Vice-Chair of the Princeton Human Services Commission and Chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights. She also serves on the board of trustees of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Board of the YWCA, and the board of Princeton Community Housing. 
  7. Michele Tuck-Ponder, Moderator, former Mayor of Princeton Township, and co-host of the Reed & Ponder Cable TV program. 


Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public. 

PCDO Summer Family Picnic

Jul 19 2015 4:00 pm


Come join us for a day of food, fun and political friendship at the annual PCDO picnic. There will be informal activities/childcare for the kids, sing-alongs led by politico-musicians and the chance to hear from and mingle with our elected officials. PCDO will provide veggie burgers, hot dogs, hamburgers, and beverages. We ask that you bring a side, salad or dessert if possible. Come to eat, relax and play. Frisbees, balls, jump ropes, good spirits welcome and encouraged.


 At the Harrison St. Park, with parking on or near Aiken Ave.